The musical icon Les Paul meant so many things to so many people, but will be remembered mainly for his musical invention and innovations. Les Paul was a pioneer of multi track recording and the electric guitar, as well as being a performing legend in his own right. He reached number one 11 times, in a performing career that stretched over eighty years.
Les Paul completely changed the way that music was recorded and engineered, initially creating a system where various ‘takes’ could be layered over each other; he’s credited with inventing multi track recording and the 8 track tape recorder.
Les Paul also famously created one of the first solid body guitars. He wasn’t happy with the acoustic guitars available to him, and looked for a way to successfully amplify the instrument. Years of experiment eventually led to the famous ‘Les Paul’ guitar model being produced in 1952. A huge list of guitar players, including Slash and Jimmy Page are synonymous with the ‘Les Paul sound’, which can be heard on countless recordings to date.
As a “legend of rock”, he will be forever remembered, and his legacy has helped shape modern music in so many ways. His own playing was a combination of country and swing, but it is hard to imagine so many other styles of music without his innovation.
In 1978, Les Paul and Mary Paul were inducted into the Grammy Hall of fame, then in 1988 Paul was inducted by Jeff Beck into the rock and roll hall of fame.